Bothered by whistles?
I live only two block away from the train tracks in Ingersoll, but I rarely hear the train whistles, thanks to the fortress-like walls of my home. I also sleep with a fan on, which cancels out the remaining whistle not muted by the brick walls.
The misconceptions of a whistle-free crossing are that safety will be compromised. First, if an engineer sees a danger ahead at a whistle-free crossing. they will be on that horn legally and professionally and as a caring human.
Second, if a person ignores or fails to notice the crossing arms, the whistle from a train may be the only heads up before they hear the screaming brakes on a train with an engineer desperately praying to be able to overcome the laws of physics and stop on the proverbial dime on the tracks.
Third, whistle-free crossings must meet a certain level of safety initiatives, particularly for pedestrian crossings. In addition to the costs of adding a rider to the insurance, there may be costs for these improvements. The new regulations for railway crossings deal with many of the current shortcomings, including mandated sight-lines.
Finally, for those who fear the loss of the whistles will somehow diminish their psyche, Box Car Willie is available on YouTube and likely the eight-track version can be found on eBay. I think Ingersoll town council – who swell their chests and tout their fiscal surpluses, which I believe comes from over-taxation and fees rather than fiscal competence – should take a real look at this.
Dust off the former engineer’s report, stuff the romanticism that gets you elected in your pocket and get out there and make a decision based on an informed public. I love this town whistles or none.
Letter to premier
Dear Premier Doug Ford: I stayed home. I wore masks and applauded mandates. I saw my grandparents monthly from outside. I stuck to birthday parades. I kept two metres away, sanitized at doorways, waited in long lines outside to get to long lines inside. When called on, I returned to work.
I gave up my European study trip to meet international leaders, my university graduation ceremony and celebrations, my last summer before working full time. I sacrificed my comfort, enjoyment, happiness, and time with loved ones.
I proudly chose to value fellow Ontarians’ lives above any of that and to stand in solidarity with my country and my province to fight COVID-19 and save as many of us as possible. Ontarians like me, still willing to sacrifice so much, watch with disgust and a feeling of betrayal as you march our children along the front lines.
Yes, COVID-19 regulations are exorbitant; business owners across Ontario have struggled with this reality since March. So, how dare you turn your back and zip your pockets now that it’s your turn to adapt and shell out, now that our children need you?
Our workforce’s dependence on childcare is the very reason for our rushed return to schools. Now, it’s time for you to admit that, beyond its essential economic role, our education system is equally inextricable from public health. No policies or measures will matter if our schools don’t share them.
Along with buck-a-beer, you’ve made education cuts your trademark. Worse, you have refused to relent, even now, with so many lives at risk. Your actions are nothing less than callous indifference and negligent endangerment.
Unlike last year, most Ontarians now see through your anti-educator, anti-union rhetoric.
Stop being so cheap. This time, Ontario won’t forget.